ITALY: (Castelnuovo dell’ Abate / Montalcino) - Roberto Cipresso is one of the most famous winemakers worldwide. Drawing a parallel, he is as famous as Mick Jagger or Bono Vox in the world of rock music. That is why I was really surprised when he answered three of my questions (and that just within a couple of days!). I am not a well-known wine journalist, I am Michelangelo Tagliente, a wine blogger, but one opinion of mine has been confirmed: At the end of the day, a “big” person is nothing else than a “modest” man.
MICHELANGELO TAGLIENTE: Many people say that nature is showing alarm signals, such as the current warming of the surface temperature (climate change). On your journeys throughout the whole world, have you observed similar signs in the grape growing sector that could influence wine quality, or do you think that this is just an unjustified panic?
ROBERTO CIPRESSO: I would say there is no need to worry about grapevine surviving and growing possibilities. Vines are very adaptable species; they are able to find their own way even in a new climatic setting. Certainly, if the current estimates are correct, the world of vines would suffer deeply. As a result, grape varieties, which would push themselves forward due to climate change, would be selected for vinification. The terroir and the most important grape varieties of the world would be distorted, in comparison to what we are used and what is known to us now. Although I cannot underestimate the consequences of such a climatic change, with its serious social and economic effects, I have to admit that there could also be a positive consequence, a positive evolution; we would be forced to undertake a thorough and new research to get the best grapes for grape-growing, free from the bonds of today’s traditions or trend.
MICHELAGELO TAGLIENTE: When reading “Secondo Bicchiere of Vinosofia” (Editor’s note: Vinosofia is the second bestseller by Roberto Cipresso), I came across some similarities with “Brucia Troia” by Vinicio Capossela’s song (Editor’s note: Vinicio Capossela is a famous Italian songwriter and instrumentalist. In the lyrics, wine has the task of enlightening enthusiasm and obscuring warrior fear. Do you think that wine can be considered as art, having the same evocative power than literature, poems or music?
ROBERTO CIPRESSO: Of course, you should undeniably do that, because of many reasons! First of all, wine is something unique, unrepeatable, produced by human intelligence and nature. Second, wine is something alive, constantly changing, and different in taste every time. And wine is part of our culture, closely connected to other artistic forms.
MICHELANGELO TAGLIENTE: Did one grape variety manage to surprise you more than others? A variety, you distrusted at first, but which in the end managed to change your mind?
ROBERTO CIPRESSO: Every time, I find a new grape variety, which is unknown to me, I am biased. I fear that I don’t understand its individual existence and its peculiarities. Among those grape varieties, which have surprised me, I would mention Pignolo, a Fruili grape variety. It is proud and dignified; it offers a lot of passion, which has to be balanced with an appropriate use. And Nebbiolo, a difficult wine to handle which constantly needs attention – that is the reason why I call Nebbiolo a vine of the vine grower and not of the winegrower. Grenache is another particular and diverse grape variety. It is also known as Cannonau, Granacha, Alicante or Tocai Rosso. If you think you got it, you will be surprised how it can change according to its growing environment.
MICHELANGELO TAGLIENTE: Thanks Roberto (m.tagliente)